Tuesday, September 22, 2009


One of the things I (Erin) love to do is practice hula.  The graceful movements, haunting chants, and beautiful language and music can be very moving to behold, let alone take part in.  Sometimes, when I exit the building we practice in, it is raining softly and there are pink plumeria blossoms sticking to the hood of my car.  I drive home as the sun is setting and I cannot believe how fortunate I am.  I’ve just spent an hour dancing dances that are so beautiful they make me want to cry; singing about nature, about winds and mists and flowers and the ocean and love, telling stories with our fingers and hands and feet.  Although I am a novice, I can feel clearly that this is a view into the Hawaiian language, into Hawaiian history, a connection to the people and the place.

One of the best opportunities to watch hula is at the Merrie Monarch festival (http://www.merriemonarchfestival.org/index.html) held each year in March/April in Hilo.  Dancers come from all over the world and the festival lasts for several days.  In July during the cultural festivals dancing can also be seen.  You never know when you’ll be lucky enough to come upon hula…there may be a class outside in a park, or a small party at a beach, or a local festival that you luckily happen upon.  To take part in a local class in South Kona visit the Society for Kona’s Education and Arts website: http://www.skea.org/.  (SKEA also offers ukulele, yoga, and pilates classes and is just about a ten minute drive from the Inn.)  There is so much more to hula than what you may see at a resort luau.  As it says on the Merrie Monarch website: “Hula is the language of the heart, therefore the heartbeat of the Hawaiian people.” 


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